Photo gallery: Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award winner Mark Collins, Ulster University

Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award winner - Nursing Standard Nurse Awards 2015

Mark Collins
Ulster University

Mark implemented an art therapy project on an acute ward for patients over 65 that has helped improve their self-esteem and social skills.

During a placement at Waterside Hospital, Western Health and Social Care Trust, the third-year mental health student realised that there were no group activities on the ward, and decorated a wall with a tree of regrowth and recovery to which his patients could add their artwork.

Having the opportunity to work together as a team and a goal to strive towards gave patients a sense of achievement. This was a positive experience – they could talk about what made them happy, rather than about their mental illness.

Mark used the time to observe and assess his patients, talking to them about their feelings in a more relaxed environment.

Participation was included in the care plans of those who responded well to the project.